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Kentucky, Louisville among 21 Division I schools honored by NABC

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On Thursday the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced its inaugural Team Academic Excellence Awards, which are given out to programs at the Division I, II and III levels of both the NCAA and NAIA that have posted a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

Twenty-one Division I programs were honored, including Belmont, Bucknell, Stanford and Texas.

Also on the list are rivals Kentucky and Louisville, with the Wildcats posting a team GPA of 3.23 and having 12 players who finished the year with a GPA of at least 3.0.

Twelve UK players accumulated a 3.0 GPA or higher in the spring semester including Twany Beckham and Jarrod Polson who were honored individually by the NABC for academic excellence.

Under coach John Calipari, the Wildcats have tallied a 3.0 or higher cumulative team GPA during the spring semester in each of the last three seasons including during the 2012 National Championship run.

As for the national champion Cardinals, they finished the 2012-13 academic year with a team GPA of 3.295. Rick Pitino’s program won the Big East’s Conference Team Academic Excellence Award in both 2011 and 2012, with the 2013 winners yet to be announced.

Louisville received an NCAA Public Recognition Award in 2013 for ranking among the top ten percent in men’s basketball in the Academic Progress Rate, which measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation for student-athletes.

The academic achievement is not new to the Cardinals. UofL’s men’s basketball team earned the 2010-11 and 2011-12 BIG EAST Conference Team Academic Excellence Awards, which recognizes the highest collective grade-point averages in each of the conference’s 23 sports (2012-13 awards have not been announced yet). The men’s basketball team has hovered around a collective 3.0 GPA for 10 straight semesters, including a 3.18 GPA for the most recent spring 2013 semester.

The 21 NCAA Division I schools to be honored by the NABC are: American, Belmont, Bucknell, The Citadel, Denver, Eastern Washington, Indiana State, Kentucky, UL Monroe, Louisville, Mercer, Rice, South Dakota State, Southern Utah, Stanford, Texas, Texas Tech, Utah, Western Michigan, William & Mary and Youngstown State.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Ingram scores 15, leads No. 6 Duke past pesky Yale 80-61

Marshall Plumlee, Matt Jones, Amile Jefferson
AP Photo/Gerry Broome
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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Freshman Brandon Ingram scored 15 points and played a key role in the defensive switch that helped No. 6 Duke beat Yale 80-61 on Wednesday night.

Matt Jones had 17 points and Grayson Allen scored 15 for the Blue Devils (5-1), while Ingram sparked Duke out of a lethargic start with his pressure as the front man after the switch to a 1-3-1 zone defense.

Freshman Luke Kennard finished with 12 points for the Blue Devils, who finally took control with a 17-2 run during a 5 1/2-minute span that bridged the halves. Duke outscored Yale 42-25 in the second half.

Justin Sears scored 19 points and Makai Mason had 13 points for the Bulldogs (3-2). The preseason favorites in the Ivy League led for all but 90 seconds of the first half but shot just 30 percent after the break.

The clear difference was Duke’s switch late in the first half to that zone defense with the 6-foot-9 Ingram out in front – where he could disrupt Yale’s ballhandlers, get his 7-3 wingspan into passing lanes and pester the perimeter shooters.

Yale, which shoots 40 percent from 3-point range, was just 4 of 15 in this one. Duke finished with 12 steals and forced 13 turnovers, turning them into 16 points.

That defensive pressure sparked the game-turning run, with the zone forcing turnovers on consecutive trips down court that Duke turned into transition buckets.

Ingram later took a steal coast to coast for a layup that gave the Blue Devils their first double-figure lead at 48-38 with 16:43 to play. Allen capped the decisive run with a layup on the next trip down court.

They eventually pulled away, pushing the lead into the 20s on a jumper with 2 1/2 minutes left by Amile Jefferson, who finished with 12 rebounds.

The lopsided final score was surprising because Duke was in trouble for virtually the entire first half. Yale routinely outworked the Blue Devils and generated easy baskets – none easier than Mason’s unimpeded drive across the lane for a layup that put the Bulldogs up 27-20 with 7 1/2 minutes left before the break.


VIDEO: Colorado player ejected for biting another player

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Colorado is playing Air Force tonight.

For some reason or another, Colorado’s Tory Miller got mad at Air Force’s Hayden Graham.

So he bit him.


At least he didn’t pretend that he teeth hurt after getting bit.

Miller, obviously, was ejected. Colorado ended up winning the game.